Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
Big Tech Hearings, Neuralink & Emmy Record
All the news you need in less than 10 min:
All the news stories mentioned in today's episode are listed with links below, so you can spend as much -- or as little -- time as you want perusing the latest happenings...
No Charges in Garner Case: The final decision is in: there will be no federal charges against police involved in the death of Eric Garner. Today marks exactly five years since he died. Garner was a 43-year-old unarmed black man seen in a video saying “I can’t breathe” after he was apparently put in a chokehold. U.S. Attorney General William Barr decided not to bring civil rights or criminal charges against any of the NYPD officers involved because he says prosecutors couldn’t prove there was a federal crime. Garner’s family and civil rights groups plan to protest for the next several days and want the officer seen in the video at least fired.
Read more: Washington Post, NBC News, Reuters
Big Tech Hearings: Today is the second day of hearings on Capitol Hill over concerns about big tech. This week’s hearings are part a House anti-trust investigation. Lawmakers voiced concerns about Facebook’s plan for its new cryptocurrency, Libra. They don’t trust Facebook with a global currency given the company’s past privacy mistakes. The head of Facebook’s new project says Facebook will wait to launch Libra until lawmakers’ concerns have been addressed. Google, Amazon and Apple also faced tough questions.
Read more: TechCrunch, WSJ, CNN, The Washington Post, NYT
Neuralink: Billionaire Elon Musk showed off some of the tech from his startup, Neuralink, for the first time. Neuralink wants to help paralyzed patients work computers or phones with their minds. The vision? Neuralink would drill holes into the brain to embed thin threads that connect to a tiny processor, which then connect to a phone over Bluetooth. Musk has been working with mice, and he says he hopes to start trials on humans as soon as next year, though it would need federal approval.
Read more: Bloomberg, CNBC, The Verge
Rocket World Record: In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama launched nearly 5,000 model rockets all at once in the hopes of getting into the Guinness Book of World Records. Though it’s not verified and official yet, it’s looking good.
Read more: TechCrunch, AL.com, RocketCenter.com
Area 51 Fake Event: More than a million people say they’ll attend what’s apparently a “joke” Facebook event that went viral. The event claims they’ll storm Area 51 in September to search for aliens. The top-secret base in Nevada has been the subject of conspiracy theories about aliens and UFOs. The Air Force is telling people not to go near the area, making it clear that it’s illegal and any attempt to gain access would be "dangerous."
Read more: USA Today, BBC, TIME
Game of Thrones Record: Emmy nominations are in, and Game of Thrones was nominated for a record 32 awards. It’s the most Emmy nods to a series within a single year. HBO earned nearly 140 nominations this year, making it the most-nominated network for the 2019 Emmys. Netflix came in second. The 71st Emmy Awards will be held on September 22.
Read more: Variety, Deadline, CNBC, All Nominees Here
World Emoji Day: Today is "World Emoji Day," so Apple and Google both announced some new emoji are expected in the coming months. Both companies are expected to add around 60 new emoji characters, including interracial couples, same-sex couples and people with disabilities. There will also be new food and animal options.
Read more: USA Today